Starting Freelance in 08, why should I need Quickbooks?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by kitki83, Dec 12, 2007.


What is your accounting system as a freelancer?

  1. My accountant does everything, I hand in the receipts and tells me what I got.

    0 vote(s)
  2. I split the work between Quick Books and showing my results at the end of the year to my accountant.

    0 vote(s)
  3. I do it all myself through Quick books or other system of accounting.

    5 vote(s)
  1. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I am working on starting to do freelance graphic design next year. I do have a 9-5 job that is sufficient but I want to expand the best I can as part time freelance then go full time if I do get laid off (causes is from company take over).No experience freelancing but I have my clients outside of work.

    One accountant talked to me mention that best way to achieve what I want is to get QuickBooks Pro and he will help me set up a system because my spreadsheet is not efficient. He said QuickBooks will be better for my case and hell be able to log in my computer to see how I am doing(if I permit) instead of visiting him.

    Now through research I hardly heard anyone mentioning using Quickbooks to do accounting or create a system for oneself. My sources of information blogs/professionals articles I read everyone says to just have the accountant do all the work.

    So I am here asking what is everyones approach to their business side of freelancing (esp. Graphic Design). Just any advice on accounting for the self employed is greatly appreciated.
  2. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have quickbooks and use it for my business. I do mostly consulting work and various design projects and it has served me well.

    While you can no doubt do simple accounting just with pen and paper, when it comes to writing an estimate or printing a bill, clients feel more comfortable with a document that looks official.

    There is a relatively steep learning curve (was for me), but I wouldn't even know where to begin with tax code, statement reconciliations, tracking estimates/projects and payments, levying fees for late payment, etc.

    You don't necessarily have to go with Quickbooks, there are other options - but most financial institutions will be able to interface with your quickbooks setup to do online banking.

    What it boils down to is this: if you are serious about making a living on your own, you need some sort of a system to track your money. Quickbooks works for me.
  3. mouchoir macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    London, UK
    Quickbooks sounds pretty good!

    I've been using an excel spreadsheet I've set up, with formulas to keep track of all sorts of things. You can do some pretty complicated and usefull things with it.

    It can be a pain (but essential) to keep up-to-date when you are busy, so if your accountant thinks Quickbooks will make your life easier, and you can afford it, it sounds like a good idea.
  4. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    Quickbooks may be overkill.

    I use iBiz by igg software. Easy and straightforward to use.
  5. MrLubeMan macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2007
    Living the dream

    My suggestion would be to focus on getting customers first and foremost. Without customers, Quickbooks really isn't necessary. :D
  6. kitki83 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for advice, I am going to ask other accountants and some designer friends on their opinion because QuickBooks has higher learning curve than my Spreadsheet.

    To MrLubeMan
    Thats not a problem I have my few clients I can manage while working full time.

    Freelance is more a side job/part time I guess since I do have a full time job, just want to expand now that I am going for Web Certificate/training.
  7. Daringescape macrumors regular

    May 7, 2003
    For invoicing, I use a program called billable. It works great and you can email pdf invoices right from the program.
  8. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Don't know about freelancers, but for running a design firm, it works great. I can set my accounts up, create invoices (pdfs, printable), receive payment, pay my employees. One of the nice things is it allows you to see your A/R, Profit Loss, which can be astounding sometimes. There are lots of cool features and it really makes running a business easier and smoother for someone like me to focus on project management and design. At the end of the year, I print out a few forms, hand it to my tax guy, done.
  9. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    i put everything into an excel spreadsheet just for tracking purposes. its worked fine so far, however i am thinking about going into something more specifically financially oriented for 2008. i'm not a fan of quickbooks from what i have seen, just from an interface standpoint.

    i also use a well designed indesign document for invoicing, billing, estimating and various contracts and such.

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